Monday, August 25, 2014

We Survived!!!

The first week of school!  Barely!  These kids were absolutely exhausted!  I realize it sounds so cliche, but I can not believe we have a first and fourth grader!  I am blown away sometimes when I look at Malakai and think "When did he get so big?"  I have adult-like conversations with him!  I tried to carry him up the stairs the other night and almost broke my back!  Both of them are SO tall and skinny, they definitely get their height from the Rader side.  Little Ni Ni is the small one....such a sweet thing.


We started the week with the Annual St. Paul Soccer Tournament!  Both kids played great!  I didn't get a picture of Malakai due to the fact he played in the POURING RAIN!

Teacher gifts were a success!  I stuck with old faithful!  Easy, quick, and cute (filled with crystal light packets)!

First Day Pics!  I tried to find some older ones to compare!



Here is to another
great week!!


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Menu Plan Monday

I would say Menu Plan Monday was a semi-success last week!  There were two nights that were impossible to complete the planned dinner, but we rolled with it.

Some notes on last weeks plan:

 I ended up making this amazing Meatloaf on Sunday.  My dad came to town Sunday evening for work, so it was nice to sit down and have a family meal with him.

I would say the Turkey Nachos were the biggest hit!  I made two pans, one for the kids that just consisted of chips, cheese, turkey, and I added beans.  Josh and I's had chips, cheese, turkey, tomatoes, black olives, and jalapenos.  This was SO easy!

The Green Beans, Chicken & Potatoes was a success also!  Again, SO easy and the kids actually ate it.  I cut way back on the butter!

This week the menu consists of....

Monday:  Josh works late, and seeing as our diets don't like us to eat so late, he is usually on his own, or will take Sunday Leftovers.  I let the kids pick Monday Menu since it is just usually them eating.  I will sit with them but will make myself a salad.

Crescent Cheese Dogs
Shells and Cheese

Tuesday:  Our only evening without an activity!

Bacon Bow Tie Pasta
Garlic Cheese Bread

I am going with the "light" version which uses Turkey Bacon, reduced fat cream cheese, and reduced fat milk.

Wednesday:  Soccer AND Curriculum Night = Crockpot Meal!!

Crockpot BBQ Chicken
Corn on the Cob

We will be shredding and eating as sandwiches.

Thursday:  Gymnastics and Baseball Night!  I plan to have the "Breakfast for Dinner" that I did not get to last week :)

French Toast Bake

Friday:  Too much going on for there to be a plan for Friday!

I hope everyone has a great week!  If you try any of these recipes, please feel free to share your feedback in the comments section!


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Menu Plan Monday - Back To School

It is a bitter-sweet time here in the Miller House, as summer winds down and we start a new school year. This means back to schedules, routines, homework, bedtimes, and adjusting to 1st and 4th grade!  Little Ni Ni will be making the move to the 2 year old room at daycare, so lots of  changes around here!

Dinner becomes more and more difficult as evenings are filled with multiple extracurricular activities.  Sticking with Menu Plan Monday's makes it much more likely that we won't be doing (as many) drive-thru grab and go's for dinner.  

The struggle, as I'm sure it is with most families is getting off work (5ish if I'm lucky), picking kids up from after-school care (praying they have finished their homework) and daycare, Josh and I both walking through the door around 6 (on a good day), having a STARVING almost 2 yo that wants to eat the second she walks through the door, and finding something to fix that is quick and "somewhat" healthy.  Those of you that know me know I'm not a huge health nut but I do have some standards :)

I recently read an article at Simple Marriage that speaks of the benefits of eating together as a family.  It doesn't have to be anything fancy, but as long as you clear away distractions and make time to focus on each other, you can reap some of these benefits...

1.  Eating together helps you connect
2.  Eating together provides an opportunity to practice gratitude
3.  Eating together helps you relax (ummmm, jury is still out on this one)
4.  Eating together encourages mindful eating
5.  Eating together improves nutrition
6.  Eating together is FUN!

Okay, on with this weeks menu!!!

Monday - Josh works late on Monday's so he doesn't get home until kids are in bed...keeping it simple and sticking with old faithful!

Sausage and Rice
*2 boxes Uncle Ben's Chicken Flavor Rice
*1lb ground sausage (we like it a little spicy)
*2 can biscuits

Brown Sausage/drain
Cook Rice as Directed on the box
Mix Sausage and Rice together
Serve in a bowl with biscuits on the side


Green Beans, Chicken & Potatoes - I have never made this before, but it looks super easy and it is all over Pinterest.  I'll let you know how it turns out!

Wednesday - Both kids have soccer practice so we will go straight there from school.  When Josh gets there to relieve me, I will head home to have dinner ready when they get home.

Breakfast for Dinner - French Toast Bake!!!

I love that I can prepare this the night before!

Thursday - Gymnastic Night...have little time to get food in their bellies before it starts!


Garlic Bread


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2014 is MY year to...

Oh, the dreaded New Year Resolutions.  With resolutions, the expectations are different. Each day, I try to live up to my resolutions. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I fail, but every day is a clean slate and a fresh opportunity. I never expect to be done with my resolutions, so I don't get discouraged when they stay challenging. Which they do. 

I always want to lose weight, I always want to budget better, I always want to "live life to the fullest," take more time for the little things in life, drink more water, spend more time at the gym, cook more....blah, blah, blah!  While I am FAR from perfect on the items listed above...these are the items I have worked on for several years and will never be perfect. That's not to say they aren't a part of my every day life, because they are, but this year....this year, I'm trying something different......GOALS!  Something measurable at the end of the year.  Did you see that Modern Family Episode where Phil vowed to walk the distance to Canada on his elliptical?  That could totally be me....I could very well be squeezing all of these in in December of 2014!

Goal 1 - Take more pictures....and DO something with them!  I'm not exactly sure what the "doing" will be, but I will figure it out.  Even if it is just having them digitally organized.  I would love to scrap....scrapping makes me happy.  Maybe a layout a month is a good goal.  OMG!  That would mean my kids would have 4 layouts a piece by the end of the year....I will have a lot of catching up to do when I am an empty nester! 

Goal 2 - End 2014 with at least one blog per month.  Blogging makes me happy.  I should do it more often.  It truly clears the mechanism....

Goal 3 - Go to Disney World.  We talk about it all the time...we just need to DO it!  Some of you might find this hard to believe, but I have a difficult time pulling the trigger on things like really is strange.  Look how little my Malakai was last time we went!!

Goal 4 - Go on a All-Inclusive Getaway with just Josh.  Some place warm, with a pool I can lay in and still hear the ocean, with lots of umbrella filled drinks, a room with a huge bed filled with down pillows and blankets that has an ocean view lanai, and the doors to the lanai can be open 24/7. 

Goal 5 - Pinterest Goals - I stole this cute idea from pinterest......

  • A bad habit I'm going to break - Yelling at people while driving
  • A new skill I'd like to learn - Sewing....more than just the basics
  • A person I hope to be more like - Josh....he is so calm, cool, and collected
  • A good deed I am going to do - Donate time to Feed My People
  • A place I like to visit - See 3 and 4 above
  • A book I'd like to read - "The Power of a Positive No"  I just got it for Christmas
  • A letter I'm going to write - A letter to each one of my children
  • I'm going to do better at - Delegating...and being okay with it.
Happy New Year Everyone!!  Here is to 2014 being GREAT!


Monday, October 29, 2012

A Year In Review...

Today marks my first official day of maternity leave!  Nia is scheduled to make her arrival, Thursday, November 1 @ 12:00pm.  People ask me how much time I am taking off work and you better believe I tell them 12 weeks.  That's what I'm entitled to, and that is what I'm taking.  The bets have started taking place, and Josh thinks I will be working from home by December and my staff thinks I'll be in the office (at least part time) by then as well.  We shall see :)

The nesting has kicked in and I FINALLY got the 700 pictures that were on my memory card of my camera transferred to my computer.  This is part of the reason I took such a break from blogging.  My computer crashed, I got it fixed, but I couldn't freaking get my pics from my camera to the computer after the whole debacle.  All it took was me spending some focused time on it, I just haven't had that in a while...focused time.

So, we will start with October 2011...enjoy the pics!

October 2011 was filled with:

  • Apple Picking

  •  Bonfire with Friends

  • Ice Skating

  • And a very cute Ninja and Minnie Mouse

November was filled with:

  • Grandparents Day at Leila's school

  • Thanksgiving with friends, which sadly I don't have pictures of.  We did not go home and we spent the holiday with our Canadian Friends, the Lavigne's.  We had a fabulous meal, followed by all our other wonderful friends coming over for a "Dessert Party!"  SO MUCH FUN!

December was filled with:

  • Christmas Concerts

  • Malakai turned 7 and had a joint party with his best buddy Landon

  • And of course, Christmas!  You might remember the matching PJ pants I sewed for them :)

January was filled with:

  • Malakai bringing his class friend home for the weekend

  • Pinewood Derby!!  Malakai came in 2nd place!

  • Lots of time spent with friends

February was filled with:

  • Silly Valentines

March was filled with:

  • Leila turning four!!!

April was filled with:

  • Coloring Easter Eggs

  • A visit from the Easter Bunny AND the special Poppy and Tutu Bunny

  • Easter Brunch

  • And the countdown to Baby Nia began...

May was filled with:

  • Field Day!  Which marked the last day of school!  Somehow, Josh and I always end up with the water balloon game!

  • The Chinese Lantern Festival at the Missouri Botanical Gardens

June was filled with:

  • LOTS of Bandits Baseball!!

  • Their Pretty Cheerleaders

July was filled with:

  • A visit from the Rader family!!

August was filled with:

  • Annual Lake Trip which included Malakai's first attempt at skiing...

  • The 3rd Annual Rader Family Scavenger Hunt 

  • The First Day of School

Last but not least, September was filled with:

  • Lots of soccer and very few pictures...

Hope you have enjoyed the photo gallery.  Now I feel like I know longer have to focus on what I have not blogged about, but I can focus more on the NOW!